Fodor’s Expert Review
The remains of the Moorish military outpost that became the city of Madrid are visible on Calle Cuesta de la Vega. The sections of wall here protected a fortress built in the 9th century by Emir Muhammad I. In addition to being an excellent defensive position, the site had plentiful water and was called Mayrit, Arabic for "source of life" (this is the likely origin of the city's name). All that remains of the medina—the old Arab city within the walls of the fortress—is the neighborhood's chaotic web of streets and plazas, which probably follow the same layout they did more than 1,100 years ago.